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Trapped miners survived by eating bark

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Trapped miners survived by eating bark

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In northern China 115 miners – plucked from a flooded coal shaft after being trapped underground for a week – say they survived by eating pine bark from timber supports.

Jubilant officials have hailed their rescue as a “miracle”.

Thirty-eight miners are still missing in the unfinished Wangjialang mine in Shanxi province which filled with water eight days ago.

Officials say most of the rescued miners are in a stable condition but seven are critically ill.

Some survivors have described how they ate bark and sawdust and risked drinking the murky water. Others strapped themselves to the walls with their belts to avoid drowning while they slept.

A medical officer involved in the rescue said the survivors had hypothermia, severe dehydration and skin infections from being in the water so long.

There is no word of the miners still trapped below ground. Rescue coordinators say two or three underground platforms have not yet been checked and conditions remain difficult because of high water levels.